First sketches of Maritime Museum revealed

Niki May Young
Tuesday 03 Mar 2009

Construction of extension to commence in summer

Greenwich, London, has long been home to the UK’s National Maritime Museum, a building which is rich with history and significance for the powerhouse island. With an expanding collection of artefacts and the perpetual historicizing of events at sea, C.F. Møller Architects were contracted in 2006 to design a 5,200 sq m extension which would suitably integrate with the existing UNESCO World Heritage site.

These first images show how the Sammy Ofer wing, as the extension is named, is designed to do so. Predominantly the building is kept underground creating a deceptively large area to hold the new facilities of exhibition space, an open archive research center, flexible learning spaces and a café, brasserie and shop. A new entrance will also allow visitors to access the building from Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory.

Scheduled to complete in 2011, the land on which the extension will lie will be readjusted with three layers, two of which can be accessed from two separate ground levels, integrated slopes changing the topography to ensure the building's accessibility at these levels.

Dr Kevin Fewster, Director of the Museum said: “The new facility will enable us to revitalise many of our galleries, exhibitions, collections, archives, visitor facilities and programmes. Overall, it generates a sea change – a profound transformation in our public engagement, opening up new horizons and fresh vistas both for our visitors to Greenwich and our online users.

“The landscape-focused architectural approach conceived by our architects, C F Moller, locates much of the 5,500m2 building below ground level, resulting in an elegant scheme that simplifies and enhances the Museum’s interface with the surrounding heritage landscape.”

Niki May Young
News Editor

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